We want to be a part of the scene, not just celebrating the scene. -John D.
“I want to go back,” said Sweet T.
“Back where?” I asked.
“It was just easier then. I could close my eyes, kiss a boy, and everything would be alright,” she added.
With that, the twang of the first note of “Glory Fades” hit and the room surged with energy. Faces lit up with excitement as the drums matched their heartbeat. Everyone stared madly into each others eyes as if they had just fallen in love for the very first time.
Sweet T charged off into the crowd and jumped on a friend’s back. They were screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs towards anyone that would listen. I stood there and smiled. These were the bands that we had all grown up listening to, empathetically grieving with every lyric that resonated teenage heartbreak. At the time, we thought we knew everything about the hardships of life, but today, this was our commonality; the lessons that were heard, but never listened to.
Together, the crowd beckoned for a release from everyday anger, confusion… the catastrophe that is caring too much. It didn’t matter if you knew the words. It didn’t matter what you wore. It didn’t matter what you looked like. What mattered was being a part of the moment, and throwing any doubt to the wind. Freedom came from putting your hand in the air, grabbing a friend, and shouting at the top of your lungs.
Skinny Pete stood to one side with his camera slung around his neck. He snapped a quick photo of a young surprised Jeff Goldblum look-alike. I ordered him a drink so he could take a break and enjoy the show.
“So do you enjoy this music?” I asked surprised to see him quietly mouthing along to the lyrics, “I thought you grew up on Punk.”
“I can’t say I liked it much at the time,” Skinny Pete said taking a sip, “But as I grew up a bit and I started to match the age of these song writers, I couldn’t help but relate to a lot of it. Maybe I’m just getting sappy and emotional as time goes by, but I see wisdom in this music that I didn’t as a kid.”
You see, this wasn’t just a monthly event. It was a window to a time when we said we weren’t going to follow our parents into a future of war, hunger, and grief. We were here to recapture that moment where the flame that burned inside you as a trouble free teenager made you weep for a world going to hell. A place where we could burst with passion and angst and truly feel like the love vigilantes that we thought we were back then. A simple place where we could physically feel the rotation of the earth beneath our feet, these simple wonders long forgotten by the grey and austere reality of adulthood. This was our escape from the grind, the expected, and a chance to live in our own time through the common bond in music.
This was a show built for the feelings, the sweat, the love and the tears.
Sweet T returned some time later, drenched in sweat and snatched the beer from my hand.
“Come dance it all away with everyone!” Sweet T screamed in my ear as she slammed the empty beer can down and dragged me towards the dance floor. It didn’t matter if you loved or hated it. It was a part of you, and a gentle reminder of where you came from. Age aside, life had a way of repeating the past, one song at a time.
The bottom line:
If you’re looking to relive a little high school angst and missed hearing bands like, The Used, Senses Fail, My Chemical Romance, New Found Glory, then this is the event for you. Not to mention lot’s of live bands each month. It’s a reason to remember the good, the bad and the ugly…the reasons you are where you are today. You can look around the room and see a sea of people who were once somebody else without a day job, or a care in the world except to eventually change that world. The ravages of time are not kind to anyone or anything, but for now Through Being Cool captures the essence of an era that no one I know is ready to let go of yet.